The Estonian defense ministry announced it has joined Finland and Latvia in their recently-launched program for the development and potential procurement of a common armored fighting vehicle.
Kristjan Prikk, Chief of Staff of the Estonian Ministry of Defense, signed the document on April 2, while Finland and Latvia formalized the cooperation in late January this year.
Finland and Estonia have noted in the past that they would be open to other countries joining the project. Under the agreement, countries are free to choose their later contractors for vehicle maintenance, crew training and spare parts.
The aim of the joint project is to develop a common, armored wheeled vehicle system. If the development work leads to actual procurement of the vehicle system in the future, the common system will improve the mobility, cost-effectiveness, compatibility and security of supply of each country’s ground forces.
Based on national and multinational tests and evaluations, the vehicle chassis platform chosen for the development is the Finnish-made Patria 6×6 AFV chassis platform that meets the set capability requirements.
The Patria 6×6 is a 7,5-meter vehicle with STANAG level 4 protection and amphibious capabilities. It has a top speed of over 100 km/h and a maximum payload of 8,500 kilos.
Estonia is looking to procure over 100 units to replace its fleet of some 140 Pasi armored personnel carriers which were delivered by Finland’s Patria.